It's Alive!

By Phil Plait | August 22, 2011 2:30 pm

Last year, I wrote about James Dunbar’s adorable book Bang!, a cartoon history of the origin of the Universe. It’s really cute and great for kids, and now he’s followed it up with a sequel: It’s Alive!, about how life originated on Earth.

Like the first book, it’s well done, simplified without being dumbed down, and actually fun to read. I imagine parents would get a kick out of reading it with their kids, and I love the idea of solid science, whimsically portrayed, so that both young ‘uns and grown ups can enjoy it.

The book is available for free as a PDF, or $15.95 for a paperback version.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Cool stuff, Science
MORE ABOUT: James Dunbar

Comments (16)

Links to this Post

  1. Up, up and away! | Hybrid Vigor | August 24, 2011
  2. Teaching Kids Science With A Rhyming Bang | TechyDad | September 20, 2011
  1. MacRat

    “The book is available for free as a PDF”

    Too bad it’s not downloadable from the website.

    “$15.95 for a paperback version”

    Not in the Apple bookstore.


  2. John Paradox

    Huh… ‘prequel’ to Larry Gonick’s series…..[?]


  3. rish

    @macrat – all you have to do is email him to get a copy…and why would a paperback be in a digital bookstore…?

  4. Darth Robo

    You KNOW the fundies will be all over this one…


  5. Keith Bowden

    From the website linked to above:

    You are welcome to view It’s Alive! in its entirety, right here.
    Currently I’m also giving away a free, high-resolution PDF eBook.
    I will happily send you one if you e-mail me at […]

    Free web view, and free as long as you’re okay with giving him your email address.

    I enjoyed Gonick’s series, but had to take issue with his ascribing motivations to biblical characters for which there’s no basis. Speculation is one thing, but it was supposed to be non-fiction (in which case, some of the characters likely shouldn’t have been in there at all…). :) And if he took liberties with those, what else might have been tweaked?

    But It’s Alive! looks pretty cool!

  6. Bruce

    I thought Larry Gonick gave an excellent perspective on the Bible stories. The motivations he ascribes are believable. In reading him, you’ve got to separate the caption text, which is usually straight history, from the word balloons, which are usually creative humor.
    He does say “Then there’s the question of how much of the Bible itself to believe – but I don’t want to get into that right now, …” (so he’s dodging controversy) And as he says about the Greeks/Trojans stories, “… even if they’re not true, they can certainly tell us something about the people who made them up.”

  7. VinceRN

    Seems odd you have to email for a copy, but on our host’s recommendations I’ll risk it.

  8. David

    This has been out since the beginning of April. At least, the file date for my copy is April 7, 2011.

    Also, I’ve gotten no spam from this guy at all (I emailed him for the high-res copy).

  9. I can also vouch that I got no spam from him. I did have a question and he gave me a personal answer but no spam.

  10. The “warning” is brilliant! :)

  11. C. Tropila

    Wish you could recommend a similar book for my grandson who is *fascinated* by black holes, speed of light, quantum physics, etc. I’ve already ordered both the Dunbar books for him on your recommendation.

  12. C. Tropila, how old is your grandson? My daughter is six but we love Stephen and Lucy Hawkings’ two books on George’s Secret Key to the Universe and George’s Cosmic Treasure Hunt. I have heard good things about Black Holes and Uncle Albert. These books are all for the elementary/middle school age.

  13. C. Tropila

    Angela: I am ordering all three Russell Stannard books – I read the Hawkings’ books myself and didn’t think much of them. The three “Uncle Albert” books will be perfect. Thanks for the recommendation. CT


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